Saturday, September 03, 2005

What Can Kids Do?

Sarcasm Girl's sarcasm has failed her in the face of the enormity of Katrina's destruction (and the government's inept response to it). We've given money (and traded off take-out dinners for a month to do it), and I'm spending some part of the holiday weekend bundling up clothes to donate. But she really wants to find some way to make a difference. Our current thinking: she can do research on ways kids can help with the rescue and restoration efforts and get that word out to her friends. But what can a 15 year old do?



Blogger TwosTools said...

I've been working with friends to get the word out, help out some of the blogs that are giving frequent updates of conditions, fill in gaps regarding available resources, etc. Here is some of what I've learned:

Most local donation centers are not accepting clothing yet (they prefer money because clothing has to be processed). But I am told that the Food Bank of Northwest Louisiana (Shreveport) is accepting donations in kind, though their website does not confirm this:

Food Bank of NW Louisiana:

"If you would like to send donations of clothes, shoes, personal toiletries (toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, soap, shaving supplies, feminine hygiene products), baby bottles, etc., the Food Bank in Shreveport is coordinating donations for this entire region.

Special note to plus-sized women: If you've been thinking of clearing out your closet, there's a need for plus-sized clothing.

They are a food bank, but they are accepting non-food donations for the Katrina evacuees. If you do send food, it should be ready-to-eat, and not home-made.

These people left with what they could put in their car. Some left with less. Most have lost everything, including their income. Some are finding apartments locally, on a special short-term leasing arrangement. Some are staying in the homes of strangers. Some are sleeping in gymnasiums and church auditoriums.

If you have things you would like to donate, please ship them to this address: Food Bank of Northwest Louisiana, 2307 Texas Avenue, Shreveport, LA 71103. "

As for what can kids, do? I think there is much that they can do, though it may start slowly as the resources find their legs.

They can raise money to send to the charity of their choice (kid-related, pets and animals, getting books to displaced kids, whatever inspires). Here are some links and addresses:

Donations to assist LSU's efforts to care for up to 1,000 pet animals arriving from the New Orleans area can be sent to the LVMA, 8550 United Plaza Blvd., Suite 1001, Baton Rouge, LA 70809: Indicate Disaster Relief Fund on the memo line. There is a great need for caging, water/feed bowls, and leashes. Several companies are sending feed, bedding material, and medical supplies.

The Baton Rouge Advocate newspaper website lists additional opportunities to assist, at:


They can do research for Katrina Help Wiki: whose "Help Needed" and "Help Wanted" site is down at the moment,

but they had put out the following entreaty:
If you have asked yourself "How can I help?" with respect to what is going on... I have an opportunity.

I just received an e-mail from one of the founders of the Katrina Help Wiki. They are going to be manning a 24 hour phone line (routed through LSU and Tulane to international volunteers) to start helping people try and locate missing family members/ friends/ get emergency information, etc.

They don't need people to man the phones, but they do need people to start trying to track down the following information:

We are looking at numbers for shelters, volunteering coordination
points, emergency evacuee transport info, missing/displaced persons that need to be located, etc. We also need to number to which we can call up and get on the hour situation reports on various affected sectors. We are welcoming all active BR volunteer network & social services numbers.

There are numbers posted on the Wiki already, but we aren't sure they are still active and they are just a portion of what is out there and being used.

If you can do some legwork for us, make some calls or do some digging, we'd be grateful. Send any of your results to: katrinahelp[dot]info[at]gmail[dot]com.


Once shelters are set up in various locations, the kids there will need peer support. I wonder how possible it will be to contact the evacuation sites in Houston, San Antonio, Baton Rouge, etc. about organizing chat room space. For those housed in army barracks, I would suspect they have connectivity. But it may be a relatively low priority until there is some semblance of "settling in."

More opportunities will arise as time passes. But thank you everyone for your kindness and desire to help.

e of the sTools

1:55 PM  
Blogger TwosTools said...

Darn link was redacted. Cut and paste this one (including the ? but not the hard return). It's a good index of charities:

1:58 PM  
Blogger Madeleine Robins said...

Thanks, E. Have passed all this stuff along to The Girl. Meanwhile, having washed the windows and made YG a skirt she'd been faunching after, I'm going to spend some part of tomorrow sorting out clothes to send...

5:36 PM  
Blogger TwosTools said...

This was posted last night on WWL-TV's site:

The State of Louisiana is working closely with the Louisiana Voluntary Organizations Active in disaster to coordinate donations of goods and services with agencies that are able to receive, store, and distribute donated items. The following items are needed: MRE’s, canned goods, non-perishable food items, baby supplies, mosquito repellants, bleach and other cleaning supplies, cases of bottled water, toiletries, individually boxed juice, individually wrapped snacks, rubber and heavy duty work gloves, dust masks, plastic utensils, and paper plates.

Please call 1-866-334-8305 to donate goods and services to benefit the survivors of Hurricane Katrina.

As for my thoughts about email support groups with shelters, perhaps schools (particularly in Texas, once that's all sorted out) would be a better and easier option.


7:28 AM  

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